Summary: A study of Psalm 73


Introduction: Psalm 73

1. It is interesting to note that Psalm 73 and Psalm 37 both deal with basically the

same theme. Both deal with envying evil doers. (It might help us to remember

this by observing that when you turn the number 37 around it is 73.)

2. The problem of why bad things happen to good people has haunted man since the

beginning of time. And the reverse is also true, why do good things happen to bad


3. The book of Job is probably the oldest book in the Bible and this the problem that

Job’s three friends could not understand. (See Job 4:7-8 & 8:6)

4. In fact, Job himself struggled with this problem. Observe what Job said in

chapter 21:7-15, “Why do the wicked live and become old, yes, become mighty in

power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring

before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.

Their bull breeds without failure; their cow calves without miscarriage. They send forth

their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and

harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in wealth, and in a

moment go down to the grave. Yet they say to God, ‘Depart from us, for we do not

desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him?

And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’

5. Solomon said, “I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just man who

perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his

wickedness.” (Ecc. 7:15).

6. So the problem of “Successful Sinners and Suffering Saints” is a problem that we

all face from time to time.

7. In Psalm 73 God uses a saint named Asaph to help us have the proper perspective

in considering this age old problem.

8. In this study we will observe:





1. In the first verse we have Asaph’s conviction. Conviction means “the state of

being convinced”. His conviction is that God is good to His people. Regardless of

how it may seem otherwise, God is good “to such as are pure in heart”. (Ps. 73:1).

2. We teach our children to pray, “God is great. God is good”.

3. God is too loving to be mean. God is too powerful to be manipulated. And God is

too wise to be mistaken.

4. According to Psalm 100, we should “be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For

the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations”.

(Ps. 100:4-5).

5. God is good, yes He is, He’s good all the time. God is good, yes He is, and we must

all keep this in mind.


1. First, he talks about the Boastful (vs. 2-9). Then he talks about the Believer. (vs.

10-21). Then he talks about the Beast. (vs. 22).

2. He confesses that he had almost fallen. He had almost slipped away.

3. Then he tells why. “For I was envious of the boastful…

4. When he thought about the boastful, or wicked, he almost let it get to him. It

looked as though they had it made. He saw their:

a. Prosperity. “I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (vs. 3).

b. Painlessness. “For there are no pains in their death…” (vs. 4)…

c. Peacefulness. “They are not in trouble as other men…” (vs. 5).

d. Pride. “Therefore pride serves as their necklace..” (vs. 6).

e. Plentifulness. “They have more than the heart could wish.” (vs. 7).

f. Perversion. “They make fun of others and speak evil; proudly they speak

of hurting others.” (vs. 8; NCV).

g. Profanity. “They set their mouth against the heavens..” (vs. 9).

4. He also saw the problems that the people of God were having and how they

wondered whether or not God knew what was going on. (vs. 10-12).

5. He even wondered whether or not it pays to do the right thing. (vs. 13-14)

6. When he sought to understand this it was “too painful” for him. (vs. 15-16)

7. He had this problem “until” he went into the “sanctuary of God” and

“understood their end”. (vs. 17).

8. He knew that, in the end, they would be “utterly consumed with terrors” and

“brought to desolation, as in a moment”. (vs. 19-20)

9. A good illustration of this is the parable that Jesus told about the “Rich Fool”,

who seemingly had it made, but died in a moment and without warning.

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